This is the world in which we live right now. Alfonso Soriano, playing left field for the New York Yankees in 2013, robs a home run to maintain a late lead in a with serious Wild Card implications. Alfonso Soriano, cool as you like, stealing a home run from Manny Machado.
This one play might distil the state of the American League playoff picture perfectly: it makes no sense. Even worse: the home run robbery didn’t “matter” as David Robertson and the Yankees still coughed up the lead, as Baltimore stormed back to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth. ONLY TO SEE THE YANKEES TAKE THE LEAD, on a wild pitch of all things.
Wild. Random. Unpredictable. What hath Bud wrought with his second wild card insanity?
The final three weeks of this season will be nothing if not entertaining. The entropy rolling over the American League will make for some good times and broken hearts, of this we can be sure. The Yankees dramatic win over the Orioles and the Rays equally dramatic win over the Red Sox keeps things incredibly tight at the top of the wild card standings.
Cleveland also picked up a win against the “looking up at hapless” Chicago White Sox, resulting in the clustertastrophe you see above. Things are going to be nothing if not interesting.
The only unfortunate part of the scenario presented by the ongoing Wild Card madness is a real lack of head-to-head matchups between the competing teams. The Royals and Indians hook up once more this year, a three game series beginning Monday in Kansas City. The Yankees, lucky dogs that they are, get three games with Rays in addtion to dates against the lowly Astros, Jays, and Giants. It’s all happening in the Bronx.
The poor Orioles have six games against Boston but three with Rays, so they can perhaps make a run at the division if they’re unable to hold off New York and the rest of the assembled wild card horde.
I wish there was a foreseeable outcome that didn’t end with the freaking Yankees in the playoffs. But, alas, I cannot foresee it. Their baby soft schedule and inexplicable ability to linger around the 2013 season like a malodorous emission on a crowded bus can no longer be doubted, ignored, or questioned. Only feared. They run on the blackest of magics and are powered by the darkest of lords.
"Alex Rodriguez making a major impact in this series." — Gary Thorne, the bitterness practically spilling out of his mouth.
— Jack Moore (@jh_moore) September 12, 2013
As for the other AL wild card qualifier…still the Rathlantics to lose. Honestly, who even knows at this point? There is great baseball in the offing if “excitement and importance” are your main measuring sticks. Great baseball and good teams that will finish on the outside looking in. Selig is genius. An evil, twisted genius.
And the rest
A scorer’s quirk might win you (or me!) your fantasy league! [Big League Stew]
GMs facing uncertain futures [Gammons Daily]
If your video on the history of baseball video games doesn’t include the MVP series YOU HAVE NO VIDEO AT ALL. [Baseball Nation (it isn't their video)]
Shoutout to Geoff Baker! Good luck, sir. [Seattle Times]
This is why people — hard-working, honest people — hate the Dodgers.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 13, 2013
All the preamble above doesn’t even begin to describe the NL playoff picture, which is equally nutty and rife with potential play-in games to the play-in game. And none of that craziness is crazier than this:
Joey Votto, in 19 games against St. Louis this season: 19 hits, 19 walks, 19 strikeouts. #19
— James Bisson (@james_bisson) September 12, 2013